Tightening The Belt On Household Expenses
Australia has some of the highest per capita costs of living in the world, particularly if you reside in Sydney or Melbourne. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Worldwide Cost of Living 2016 report, Sydney and Melbourne come in at number 20 and number 21 respectively, behind major global cities like Singapore, Zurich, Paris, London and New York.
The latest six-yearly Australian Bureau of Statistics household expenditure survey, released in 2011, shows Australians’ weekly average spend on goods and services, including housing costs, is $1,236.
So, how can you cut down on your living costs without radically changing your lifestyle?
Pinching pennies – where to make the changes
Here are a few easy strategies to consider implementing.
1. Draw up a budget
A budget can help you track your spend and save money to reach your financial goals. When you’re drawing up your budget, it’s important to be realistic, and create a plan you can stick to. ASIC’s MoneySmart website provides a free template to help you design and implement a budget.
2. Plan ahead and save on groceries
You can save money on your grocery bill by planning out your weekly meals in advance, so you only buy what you need. Buying in bulk on staple items such as toilet paper and canned goods is another way to cut costs. Try buying generic rather than brand name items where you can.
3. Think about the small stuff
As simple as it sounds, turning taps off tightly, flipping lights off when you leave a room and switching appliances you’re not using off at the wall can help lower your water and electricity bills – especially over the course of a year.
In winter, appliances like clothes dryers and heaters can be very expensive, so think before you automatically switch on the heating when you arrive home, or put a load of washing in the dryer. According to the federal government’s Your Energy Savings website, using the clothesline instead of the dryer just once a week can add up to an annual saving of $79. Replacing your old showerhead with a water-efficient one can save you around $380 a year. It all starts to add-up.
4. Review regular habits that could be costing you
Hooked on your daily latte? At $5 a day, five days a week, this could be costing you $1,300 over the course of a whole year. Other unexpected money traps include buying daily takeaway lunches, or gym memberships that you never use.
5. Why Life insurance should be included in your budget
As well as taking steps to cut your expenditure, you might want to consider insurance to help protect yourself financially. After all, your income is your greatest asset and is essential to maintaining your household.
Income Protection insurance can assist you in sustaining your lifestyle in case you are suddenly unable to work due to serious illness or injury. Life insurance can help provide your loved ones with financial peace of mind if the unexpected were to happen to you, regardless of whether you are young and single, have a family with a couple of kids, or are heading towards retirement.
Why not contact NobleOak today for information on the types of Life insurance which may be most suitable for you and your stage of life, and to obtain a Life insurance quote?
Please note that the information we provide is not advice but general information only.